You've finally found a location you love, and let's be real, you were ready to sign on the dotted line like yesterday. In all the hoopla and excitement of booking your big day though, don't forget to use your head over your heart. Otherwise, you may find yourself out of both luck and money. Here are 3 questions every bride should always ask before committing to a wedding venue.
Will the backup plan still work with your guest count?
If you're hoping to get hitched and hold your reception outside, seasoned planner Sandy Malone, owner of Weddings in Vieques, says it's important to find out if your venue actually has enough space to move the party inside in case of inclement weather. "If a venue can only hold a maximum of 60 people, and the exterior doesn't work for tents (it's not flat, it's on a cliff, etc.), it won't work for a larger wedding group," she warns. "You're just asking to be weathered out of your own wedding!"
Is there a noise curfew?
Can't stop, won't stop! Unfortunately, not every wedding venue will let you party until the break of dawn (shocking, we know) or even past 10pm. Many private properties have earlier hours because of nearby neighbors and local noise ordinances, explains Malone. Ask how late your wedding reception can go, and while you're at it, ask how soon it can begin, prior to signing a contract. "Some venues will be happy to accommodate and provide a late night buffet, whereas others will tell you that your festivities must be shut down by a certain hour." This isn't uncommon at hotels (luxury ones included), where your wedding may irritate other guests staying on the property that would rather turn down for the night, notes Malone.
Can you hang things?
We bet this question never crossed your mind! As Malone points out, some brides have a very specific décor plan in mind. If yours includes nonnegotiable details like floral chandeliers, paper lanterns and anything else that physically has to be hung from something, you'll have to get permission first and the venue's policy could be a deal breaker. "For example, some places with concrete or stucco columns and other structures don't have anything to anchor off of and you're not allowed to damage the walls or ceilings." Thus, you can't hang anything.